Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BURKE, Stevenson, lawyer, born in St. Lawrence County, New York, 26 November, 1826. He was admitted to the bar in Elyria, Ohio, in 1848, was judge of common pleas in Lorain County from 1862 till 1869, and subsequently practiced law in Cleveland. He was attorney for the Erie railway company in the proceedings connected with the re-organization of the Atlantic and Great Western railroad, and acted with Chief-Justice Waite as arbitrator in the ease. He was counsel for some of the Oberlin rescuers, who forcibly released an escaped slave that had been seized by sheriff's officers from Kentucky. Despairing of an acquittal of his clients in Cleveland, he secured the arrest of the Kentuckians and their indictment for kidnapping in Lorain County, a proceeding that impelled the opposite counsel to agree to a discontinuance of the cases on both sides. In the Butzman and Mueller case in 1884 he delivered a notable argument against the constitutionality of the Scott liquor law. He was the agent employed by the managers of the New York Central railroad in the purchase of the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis, known as the "Nickel Plate " railroad, and has been the regular attorney of several railroad corporations and taken an active part in the management of railroads, becoming vice-president of the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis, and the Indianapolis and St. Louis railroads, and president of the Cleve- land and Mahoning Valley railroad. He is also interested in the Hocking valley coal-lands, and purchased for their owners the three railroads carrying coal from that field in June, 1881, and in 1885 the Ohio Central railroad.
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